Former RVDA Chairman Brian Wilkins was named the 2022 recipient of RVDA’s James B. Summer award. The award is the highest honor the association presents.
Wilkins, third-generation owner of Wilkins RV in New York, accepted the award Wednesday morning with a line of past James B. Summer winners on the stage behind him.
“Like so many things, when you volunteer to something like RVDA, you want to give, but in the end, it seems like you are given way more than what you got,” Wilkins said. “So, I know you are thanking me for my service, but at the same time, I have to say thank you to RVDA for everything RVDA has provided myself.”
Wilkins thanked numerous industry mentors and friends, his Wilkins RV staff and his wife, Lisa. Wilkins said his father, Ron, was scheduled to attend the convention but an illness the prior weekend kept him home.
“I learned over the weekend my father was supposed be here,” Wilkins said. “My father’s retired from the business … and that caught me by surprise. I wish he would have been here. So many of us in this room come from family businesses, so we have been on one side of the transition. I give my father a lot of credit. He trusted me and had faith in letting me take on the organization that he built. I would not be here without him.”
Wilkins took the chance to address repair event cycle time (RECT), a passion during his time as RVDA chairman.
“I appreciate the efforts, we are making progress. At the same time,” he said, “we all know we have a lot of work to go and we have not hit that finish line. So do not give up that fight.”
RVDA Chairman Mike Pearo presented two Chairman’s Service Awards before turning the gavel over to incoming chairman Nathan Hart.
Pearo first recognized past chairman Chris Andro of Hemlock Hill RV for his consult and help during Pearo’s term as chairman. He also recognized former Cummins executive Garry Enyart, who recently retired from Cummins but remains active working with RVDA on initiatives to improve RECT.
The Chairman’s Service Award is given to individuals who have made significant contributions to the association.